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Speech by
Er. Chong Kee Sen
PRESIDENT OF IES & DIRECTOR
ENGINEERS 9000 PTE LTD

AT THE POLYTECHNIC’S 56TH GRADUATION CEREMONY
TUESDAY 10 MAY 2016 (SESSION 12)

Mr Tan Choon Shian, Principal & CEO of Singapore Polytechnic
Distinguished Guests and Faculty members
Graduates of the School of Architecture & the Built Environment
Ladies and gentlemen

Today is a significant milestone in your life. You have made it to the finishing line and will be presented with a Diploma in your respective disciplines.  The achievement of this important milestone in your life is of immense significance - a testament that an act of personal commitment, determination and perseverance that will carry you far in life.

Singapore is city-state with a small land area and a population of about 5.5M. As Singapore develop, innovative urban solutions is required to meet the needs and aspiration of our people. There is a role for you to ensure that Singapore remain a sustainable and liveable city into the future.

A smart and sustainable nation requires integration of green buildings and infrastructures, seamless urban mobility solutions, sustainable environment, clean water and energy among others to create a vibrant lifestyle and a better quality of life for all.

The design of buildings and infrastructure, management of hotel and leisure facilities, management of vibrant events or resolving the various environmental and water challenges brought about by climate change is an integration of activities within the smart nation initiatives. You all could collectively work together through seamless connectivity leveraging on digital technology and applications.

The global economy is slowing, however with the government push for Singapore to be a smart nation means that your career remains bright. With your newly-acquired academic qualifications, there will be many opportunities out there for your picking. This is just the commencement of a new journey for you. You have to continue to develop your skills and capabilities to gain a strong grounding that ensures your competitiveness in an ever-changing working landscape.

The work environment is getting more complex. You cannot just be working in a silo behind your desk and simply apply the knowledge that has been passed on to you by your lecturers. You are now expected to have inter-disciplinary knowledge. Therefore, it is important that you develop breadth and depth with various other skill sets. You would now be expected to command leadership and take ownership of your work. You have to take on tasks as a project lead and you will be assessed not only on your ability to work in a team but also on your ability to motivate and assist your team members to do well. Therefore, other than your IQ, your EQ will play a significant part in helping you achieve good results. To achieve a good career progression, you need to believe in yourself, put on a can-do attitude and go out of your comfort zone.

You have gone through your internship and I trust that it would put you in a better position when you venture into the working world. I understand from your school that the internship program has been enhanced. It is now a structured program with clear and specific learning outcomes. With mentoring support from the industries, it would deepen the students’ learning and better understanding of the industry.

From here, you could start working in the industry to put your acquired knowledge into use and sharpen your skills. Education is a continuous journey and there are various route that you could take. There are various scheme in the pipeline and one of which is the Skills-Future Earn and Learn Program.
For Civil Engineering graduates, I understand that a specialist diploma and advanced diploma in Civil engineering would be rolled out later part of this year. This program would provide you deepen knowledge and skills in identified key areas in Civil Engineering.  There are also various degree courses that are available.

In closing, as you celebrate your achievements, you should not forget your loved ones, your proud parents and your alma mater, for they are the ones that have given you a good head start in life.

I wish you all the best in your endeavours.  Thank you.